Libyan gunmen open fire on Russia’s Benghazi office
Libyan gunmen stormed the Russian consulate in Benghazi on Wednesday night, scrambling over the walls of the compound, tearing down the Russian flag and opening fire on cars and buildings, Russian and Libyan news agencies reported.
The attack was suspected to be revenge for the killing a day earlier of a Libyan air force pilot by a Russian woman, who the gunmen thought had taken refuge in the diplomatic mission, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
The Russian news agency, citing local security sources and the Libyan news agency LANA, said the woman had not been identified, nor was a motive in the attacks known.
“There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory” of the Russian consulate, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich was quoted as saying by Russia Today.
At least 10 gunmen arrived in two vehicles and opened fire on a consulate car parked outside the compound, then scaled the walls to enter the courtyard, ITAR-TASS reported, citing local witnesses. The intruders tore down the Russian flag from a balcony, then opened fire on the building, the agency said.
No injuries were reported, and the attackers fled as soon as Libyan security forces arrived, the news reports said.
The U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked by militants Sept. 11, 2012, and U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed by radical Islamists.